Former Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage to stand for council

Ward 3 Liberal Party candidates: Clockwise from top left, former Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage, Kieran Best and Danny Wotherspoon.
Ward 3 Liberal Party candidates: Clockwise from top left, former Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage, Kieran Best and Danny Wotherspoon.

Former Blue Mountains state MP, Roza Sage, is attempting a comeback to public life, standing as a Liberal Party candidate for Ward 3 in this year's local council elections.

The Liberal team's media release said it would campaign for upgraded roads and footpaths, improved local services and support for small business instead of spending on "pet activist projects".

Ms Sage, who will be joined on her ticket by ecologist Danny Wotherspoon and a senior commercial manager, Kieran Best, said she believed Ward 3 had long been overlooked by council.

"Our team is committed to improving the basic amenity of the Ward 3 communities... Having delivered the completion of the Great Western Highway, resealing Macquarie Road and being heavily involved with the 2013 bushfire recovery, my passion for helping local residents and delivering for our community couldn't be stronger."

She raised the issue of the Springwood town centre master plan, "which has had community consultation but has been in limbo since 2018".

"We've seen little benefit from the 40 per cent rate rise that we were promised would rectify maintenance issues. When I was the member for Blue Mountains, I secured funding to investigate traffic flow at the bottlenecks at Yeamans bridge in Katoomba and the Hawkesbury Road-Highway on and off ramps at Springwood, but a lack of focus from the council since. We need better dialogue with the state and federal governments to alleviate the traffic problems that Springwood, Winmalee, Hawkesbury and Yellow Rock residents endure. I want to be the advocate to see that this happens."

Ms Sage was elected to state parliament in 2011 and served one term before being defeated by the ALP's Trish Doyle in 2015.

President of the Blaxland Chamber of Commerce, Jo Bromilow, will vie for Ward 2 (Springwood/Faulconbridge to Wentworth Falls) with business consultant Michelle Everingham and Margaret Bowen from Blue Mountains Joggers Club.

Ms Bromilow said "it is time for some new people to represent the interests of Ward 2 residents and start to fix up the jobs that have been neglected by the current Ward representatives".

"I have represented the small business community over many years in a number of capacities and the message is loud and clear, council needs to focus on its core responsibilities of roads, rates and rubbish and it is my priority to do just that. We have a serious backlog when it comes to kerb and gutter and the implementation of footpaths. Residents should expect high standards for the rates they pay and I want to be that voice that speaks for the community to get this done. It should no longer be ignored."

The two current sitting Liberal councillors will re-contest their positions.

Cr Brendan Christie (Ward 4) will campaign with newcomers Wade Bocking, a local tutor, and Matthew Twyford, a commercial lawyer. In Ward 1, Cr Kevin Schreiber will be joined by local handyman James Dooley and retiree Bruce Cox.

Cr Schreiber commented that "it is important that Blackheath is supported for the great tourism and holiday area that it is". "I have been working closely with the Blackheath Chamber of Commerce, the Blackheath Alliance and other community groups such as the RSL and golf club to improve facilities in the township."

"Together with the Katoomba Chamber of Commerce I have been working to improve the Katoomba town centre for locals and visitors and championing kerb and guttering at Railway Parade in Leura which has been overlooked by council for many years. After vigorous lobbying of the federal government, I was able to get funding for the much needed toilet upgrades at Mt Wilson."

In Ward 4, Cr Christie pointed out key funding for Knapsack Park, Lapstone netball courts and an inclusive playground at St John's Oval.

"But we still have a lot of work on building footpaths, so parents no longer need to push prams on roads, delivering on much needed kerb and guttering for Mt Riverview and delivering safer roads particularly in Lapstone. We need to deliver on the basic infrastructure that has been left on the backburner."

Two other councillors elected for the Liberal Party in 2016, Daniel Myles and Chris Van der Kley, quit the party last year, claiming it had been taken over by a pro-development faction. They will both stand as independents in the poll to be held on September 4*

*The NSW Government has now postponed the September Local Government Elections for a period of three months to December 4.